a woman speaking to a group of about 6 people in a museum gallery


We are now accepting reservation requests for private and self-guided tours, beginning on January 12, 2015.

Tour Types and Fees

All tours last 45 minutes, are led by experienced museum guides, and encourage an informal exchange of ideas.

Private Tours

• Open to college students and adult groups
• $150 + admission
• Requires a reservation
• Can be scheduled any time during museum hours
• Minimum* of 10, maximum of 25 participants

*If your group has special needs that require a smaller group size, please contact or 212.849.8351.

Public Tours

• Open to the general public.
• Offered daily at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
• Free with admission
• No reservation required
• Maximum of 25 participants*

*Groups exceeding 10 participants are encouraged to book a separate Private Group Tour.

Self-Guided Tours

• Open to private and college groups that want to explore the museum’s galleries on their own.
• Advance reservations are required for all groups of 10 or more
• Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance
• Outside lecturers are not permitted

Current Tour Offerings

Beautiful Users
On view until April 19, 2015

Learn about the significant role the user plays in the design process, and explore everyday examples of products, spaces, and interfaces to understand how designers today are changing their point of view—from designing for people to designing with people.

Tools: Extending Our Reach
On view until May 25, 2015

Engage with objects from Cooper Hewitt and nine other Smithsonian collections—spanning 1.85 million years of tool use and design—and explore how tools extend humanity’s ability to complete everyday tasks and extraordinary feats alike.

Making Design: Permanent Collection
On view: Ongoing

Making Design is devoted to showcasing Cooper Hewitt’s extensive collection—over 210,000 objects spanning thirty centuries. Bringing together some 360 objects, including furniture, lighting fixtures, tableware, clothing, jewelry, books, and posters, the exhibition provides an overview of five key elements of design: line, form, texture, pattern, and color (red, for this initial installation).

Our emphasis is on people, purpose, and making. Examine the role that models play in helping architects, designers, and clients consider variations of an idea.


Tools: Extending Our Reach is made possible by major support from
Generous support is also provided by Newell Rubbermaid, Dorit and Avi Reichental, and Esme Usdan.

Additional funding is provided by the August Heckscher Exhibition Fund, Facebook, the Ehrenkranz Fund, and Smithsonian Institution funds from the Grand Challenges Consortia.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far in advance do I have to register?
At least 6 weeks. Reservations are accepted 7 days a week during museum hours.

What information do I need to have when registering?
Group leader’s name, mailing address, and contact information, as well as the number and type of participants (max. 25 per group)

When is payment due?
At least 4 weeks before your scheduled visit. Your reservation is not confirmed until all fees are paid.

What happens after I submit my reservation request?
Due to the high volume of tour inquiries your request will be reviewed within 7 business days, and a confirmation e-mail will be sent noting program date and start time.

Can my group stay in the museum after my guided visit?
Yes. participants will receive an entrance ticket and may come and go freely for the rest of the day.

Where do I check in?
Arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled start time to check-in (we cannot attend to you if you arrive sooner), and enter the museum on 91st Street between 5th and Madison Avenues. The group leader can pick up your tickets from the Membership Desk, and the guide assigned to your program will greet you there

What if we’re late?
If your group is late, your program will be shortened accordingly and will finish at the originally designated end time. Groups that arrive more than 30 minutes late cannot be accommodated

What if I need to cancel my tour?
All cancellations must be received in writing at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled visit. Please review our full cancellation policy on your confirmation letter and contact Group Tours at or 212.849.8351 with any questions. Cancellation and other processing fees may apply

Where can a bus/van park?
Buses/vans may drop off and pick up groups outside the main museum entrance (2 E. 91st Street). While waiting, buses can remain on 5th Avenue or seek alternative locations

What if my group requires special accommodations?
On your reservation request, please indicate special accommodations under “Additional Information.”

Do you conduct tours in other languages?
At this time, all tours are conducted in English.